Tigers open playoffs Thursday night with Community
GLEN ROSE — The Glen Rose Tigers, the District 5-4A champions, will open the Class 4A Div. II playoffs Thursday night with the same team that eliminated them the year before.
The Tigers, winners of nine straight games, will take on Nevada Community - the No. 4 team from District 6-4A - at 7 p.m. in Waxahachie.
Community upset the Tigers, 28-25, last season in Glen Rose.
“That was obviously a tough end to the season,” Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins said. “I’m sure everyone is excited at the opportunity to get to play them again, but the truth is that this is the biggest game of our season to this point and we have to focus on playing our best.”
The Braves (5-5, 2-3) have lost three of their last four games entering the contest with the Tigers, who have won nine straight contests.
“They are big and athletic,” Watkins said. “They want to run the ball right at you, and then defensively, they try to get a lot of guys in the box to stop the run. We have to be the more physical team to win this game.”
Community has three running backs who have rushed for 400 yards or more, led by Brandol Hernandez, who had 557 yards and 10 touchdowns, followed by Quinton Hall (454, 10) and Jonathan Norris (419, 3).
Community quarterback River Medlin has thrown for 1,112 yards and nine scores. Charlie Ott (16 catches, 292 yards) and Hayden Tanner (11, 269) are his favorite targets.
Glen Rose counters with do-it-all quarterback Hudson White, who has thrown for 1,444 yards and rushed for 1,674 yards and 30 touchdowns. Braulio Silva has rushed for 660 yards and seven scores.
Camden Raymond leads all Tiger receivers with 24 catches for 469 yards and three touchdowns, while Ian Bailey had 15 catches for 406 yards and three touchdowns.
In their 43-14 victory over Ferris on Friday night, the Tigers wrapped up their sixth consecutive undefeated district championship in locking down the No. 1 seed from the district.
“I’m extremely proud of the way our guys show ready to go to work each week,” Watkins said. “It’s pretty amazing to think that these seniors never saw a district loss from their seventh-grade year all the way through their senior year.”
The two teams were tied at 7-7 before the Tigers scored twice in less than two minutes to lead 19-7 at the end of the half.
"It was huge. It changed the whole game around,” Watkins said. “That series of events gave us all the momentum.”
With 3:22 left in the half, White broke the tie with a 33-yard run, giving the Tigers a 13-7 lead. The Tiger defense then forced a three-and-out, and Camden Raymond blocked the punt, and Glen Rose had the ball deep in Ferris territory.
Two plays later, White found Ian Bailey for a 23-yard touchdown pass, giving the Tigers the two-score edge heading into halftime.
Ferris cut the lead to 19-14 with a touchdown early in the third quarter before the Tigers scored 24 unanswered points to put the game away.
White added touchdown runs of 15 and 20 yards, Chuy Muro kicked a 30-yard field goal and Sean Dodson added a 14-yard score for the Tigers down the stretch.
White completed just 4 of 7 passes for 63 yards and one touchdown, but he rushed for 200 yards on 20 carries, while Silva had 101 yards on 13 carries.
Chris Hubert led the Tiger defense with 13 stops and Caden McKenzie added 10 and Max Hood recorded nine. Canyon Costello recorded an interception.
The Tigers held Ferris to just 213 yards total offense (139 passing, 74 rushing).
“I thought we played well on both sides of the ball against Ferris,” Watkins said. “We have to continue to take care of the ball and have explosive plays on offense. Defensively, we have to get off the field on third-and-longs and keep creating turnovers.”